Finalist or Master List Nominee for: Mark Twain Readers Award, Bluestem Award, South Carolina Children's Book Award, Alabama Camellia Children's Choice Book Award, and Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award. Chosen for inclusion in the Scholastic Book Fair. Frequent choice for classroom read-alouds.
~How Auggie and Gus save Serendipity Place and find their true calling.~
Auggie Jones thinks she's an ordinary girl. She lives with her grampa Gus, a trash hauler, in an old house. And even though most of her friends live in the same poorer section of the town of Willow Grove, it seems like everyone has a "shine"—a talent or special ability. Everybody but Auggie, that is.
But winds of change begin to blow—a storm tears through Willow Grove, Auggie's best friend ditches her for a new girl who lives in an upscale house on the well-to-do side of town, and the House Beautification Committee targets Serendipity Place, Auggie's neighborhood, with fines and threats of demolition.
Auggie insists she and her grampa aren't run-down people. She uses the items from Gus's trash pickups to reinvent their house and convince everyone (including her old best friend) that she's every bit as worthy of notice as anyone from the fancier side of Willow Grove.
Along the way, Auggie finds her voice, her ability to stand up to those in power, and uncovers an artistic talent that goes far beyond decorating her house. But how could a yard filled with items ready for the junkyard change an entire town's idea of beauty? How can it save Auggie's aging neighborhood? And how can rusted, recycled pieces of metal ever become Auggie's special way to "shine"?